You can never go wrong with a classic tomato sauce.

Buying it at the store can be tricky though as most brands come with tons of added sugar and a high sodium content – even most of the organic ones! How about you cook up your own tonight?

Marinara is very versatile and very easy to make. The hands-on time for this recipe is about 15 minutes tops. After that, you just grab a glass of wine and relax while you watch reruns of Househunters International your marinara simmer on the stove for about an hour. Facile!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 cups jarred diced tomatoes (organic, no salt or sugar added)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 large leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, maple syrup, wine, pepper and salt. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes.
  4. Take the pot off the stove, uncover and let cool for a few minutes. Put the marinara in a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a few days.

Teachable Tips:

  1. Tomatoes are an antioxidant powerhouse! Full of vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as lycopene and many other phytonutrients, tomatoes are known to help fight heart disease by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. In addition, tomatoes support bone health and may have anti-cancer benefits.
  2. The above listed ingredients make a little over 1 quart or 2-3 servings. Double the recipe for a larger family or if you want extra to store in the freezer to have on hand for later.
  3. I used three cups of tomatoes and four cloves of garlic for a thick, spicy sauce. Play around with the amount of tomato paste and wine as well as garlic and red pepper flakes to make it your own in terms of consistency and spice level.
  4. This marinara tastes delicious on your homemade pizza or over your favorite type of noodle. Top it with a little grated parmesan or toasted pine nuts for a simple savory meal. You can also use it as a base for other sauces. I like to add sautéed vegetables and 1/4-1/2 cup of organic half & half, heavy cream or coconut cream for my very own version of a pasta primavera with tomato cream sauce. 

Buon appetito!


6 thoughts on “Mmmarinara

  1. How serendipitous—I was just asking another blogger if she had any homemade marinara recipes for lasagna! I’m so excited to try this myself! I grow my own tomatoes and have always wanted to use them in a from-scratch recipe! Nora, Have you ever used fresh tomatoes in this recipe, instead of your jarred, diced tomatoes? I’m not sure what the difference in processes are between the two. Thank you for all the great tips, here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Seema,

      Thank you. Fresh, homegrown tomatoes are THE best!

      To make about 4 cups of marinara, I’d say use about 10-12 medium Roma tomatoes. Remove the cores and cut a small x into the bottom of each tomato. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tomatoes for a couple of minutes, then quickly cool them off in an ice bath. Peel off the skin starting from the x, cut the tomatoes in half, take out and discard the seeds. Dice the tomatoes. Done.

      Let me know how yours turns out! Best wishes,


      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s